Riding Through “The Colonies”

Four Corners, Day 18; Epic Ride, Day 42:

I realize that I’ve been in the original colonies since I rode into Georgia, but today as I came across Virginia and then into Maryland, it really struck me.  Except for the Spanish settlements in Santa Fe and Saint Augustine, these places were where our country began and where it went through the paroxysm (I wonder if I’ve ever used that word before!) of the Civil War.  I stopped at a Virginia Welcome Center less than a mile into the state to get a map (even with my fancy new Zumo 350LM I still like paper maps) and was on my way out when I saw a large picture of African-Americans in uniform — the Blue of the Union.  I realized that things may still have a long way to go in our relationships with persons of color, but, by golly, here was Virginia, the capitol of the Confederacy, recognizing the sacrifice and commitment of ex-slaves who had fought for their own freedom and to preserve the Union.

Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen things that we wouldn’t have dreamed of in the late 50’s.  The biggest thing I’ve noticed is friendships between persons who, 40-50 years ago, probably wouldn’t have known each other in a social setting.

I got an EZ Pass at City Hall in Chesapeake, then went to a McDonalds to use their Wi-Fi to register it.  EZ Pass works, as far as I know, in every state in the NE.  Their technology isn’t quite as advanced as Colorado’s E-470 yet, but the cooperation is great.

Riding the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was neat.  It’s about 14 miles across the mouth of the Chesapeake and the bridge jogs so it’s 16 miles across it.  There are two tunnels that go under that channels for shipping.  One is almost a mile and a half long and the other one was about a mile and a quarter.  I was disappointed that no ships were in transit.  There were three big tankers at anchor on the Atlantic side of the bridge and fishing boats (sport-fishermen, not commercial fishermen) all along it, but no big ships and no warships.

The Eastern Shore is flat.  My elevation was under 50 feet above sea level all the way up it to Salisbury, MD, where I’m back in a Motel 6.  I’ve noticed that Motel 6s don’t show up on my new GPS, at least in this part of the country.  I’m wondering if you have to pay to get listed by Garmin.

This Motel 6 reminds me of why they’re a bigger chain than Knights Inn — everything works, everything is really clean and it’s just a more pleasant experience than the one I had last night.

Here are some pix:



These two were on my way to Chesapeake.


On the bridge.


If you look real close, you can see the Cape Charles Lighthouse.



I’m going to go to sleep earlier tonight (before midnight!) and get up earlier so I can be rolling earlier.  It was after 11 before I left Henderson, NC, this morning.  I’ve got 1100+ miles to Madawaska and three days to do it in, but I’d like to get close to half of that knocked out tomorrow.  I don’t want to be pulling into Madawaska at 11:00PM on Sunday night hoping that there’s a place to buy gas that has a good receipt to prove that I finished the Four Corners Tour in the requisite 21 days!

Stats:  Day, 300 miles; Trip, 14,530 miles; Year, 20,531 miles; Total, 72,504 miles.


Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Riding Through “The Colonies”

  1. Chris Baum

    Yes, you don’t want to be looking for a gas station at the last minute on Sunday Night. I reminds me of my 1st SS1000 riding through Monument Valley at over 100mph to make up time to make it to Kayenta, AZ with only minutes to spare to complete.

  2. Ken Harrell

    Phil, you have a good recap of some of the important history points as you ride along back there in our “Early America” areas…interesting. So what is your opinion of the traffic on the busy roads back east, and are the roads more thick with semi-trucks than they are out west. My mostly dirt-bike background on motorcycles doesn’t make me as comfortable around all that thick traffic as I would like to be, even though I bought my first BMW R80GS in 1982, so it’s 31 years of street riding. Maybe I’m just slow to get comfortable in heavy multi-lane highway traffic.

    It’s still hot at home with high nineties temps, although since I think they measure the Fort Morgan official temperature that they provide to the Denver Post, in front of the Chamber of Commerce open refrigerator door because it’s always saying it’s nearly 10 degrees cooler than every thermometer in town shows.

    Your trip sure sounds fun. Ken

  3. Sandi Johnson

    Sorry you couldn’t stop to say I in Baltimore.

    • Me, too, Sandi! I’ve come close to a lot of people I would loved to have seen on this trip. But if I’d stopped to see them all, I would have run out of time and money about half-way through!

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